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10 Steps to Social Media sales success

By JASON KING Published 9th Oct 2013
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Can Social Media Marketing lead to Sales? – YES!

Unlike traditional/online advertising where an immediate sale is sought, Social Media Marketing requires the commitment of time and the ability to nurture relationships with individuals.

Social Media can be used like a “sales funnel” to help guide prospects from initial contact to the end sale by following these 10 simple steps:

  1. Identify

Build up a list of potential targets by using the search functions in the various Social Media platforms. Target people based on their location, age and interests to help build an audience of relevant and interested followers.

  1. Post

Refrain from posting only sales-orientated content by sharing blogs and articles from external sources that provide rich content which adds value in some way to your audience – Give them something for free – Interesting, Relevant & Engaging Content.

  1. Like/Follow

Follow & be followed. If you’ve implemented steps 1&2 correctly then people will follow you because you’re relevant to their needs & interests. Once prospects have liked or are following your company you’ve got them – Don’t let them go!

  1. Ask Questions

If your company is able to solve problems experienced by your audience then you have a higher chance of converting the sale by satisfying their needs & demands.

Ask your audience questions – ask them what problems they experience, what they like/dislike about certain products/services. How do you know what your customers want if you don’t ask them?

  1. Engage

This is where the magic of Social Media happens – 2 parties engaging and being social. Ensure that any communications are 2-way – people are tired of 1-way Marketing communications. Keep asking questions and seek clarity where customers have sought answers from you. Be friendly, approachable & social.

  1. Offer

You’ve engaged with your customer, established what their needs are and overcame their uncertainties – Now it’s time to introduce your own products/services.

Never make an offer generic, make your offer relevant and personal and make the customer feel like you understand them and their needs.

  1. Signpost

To facilitate the sale it is recommended to lead the customer away from the Social Media platform and to your main company website. On your website you’re in more control and can start to signpost your customer towards their preferred sales channel – Do they want to buy online, by telephone or in your shop? Signpost customers to the sales channel of their preference.

  1. Enquiry

You’ve made a relevant offer to the customer, lead them to your website – but they won’t buy just yet.

The customer will want to know more information about your products/services – How much does this cost? Does the offer fit my exact needs?

  1. Inform

One of the most common reasons for failing to convert an enquiry into a sale is the customer has doubts or unanswered questions.

You know this individual so tell them the benefits of your products/services according to their needs. Don’t tell them about the wonderful features or technical aspects – tell them how your offer can BENEFIT them.

  1. Convert - SALE!

So many people are scared to sell, you don’t want to be seen as pushy – but all you need to do is ask for the sale.

Do you want to buy 1 egg or 2?

That’s £500 in total – Do you want to go ahead?

Simple questions – Just ask. If the customer doesn’t commit then return to step 9 and overcome their objections.

And there you have it 10 simple steps to Social Media Sales Success.

What problems has your business encountered when trying to sell on Social Media?

Unique Views: 1505 | Total Page Views: 1903
257 weeks ago, by James
The more I talk to people about their social media use the more I find that the majority are uncertain about how to use it. Many are only doing it because they 'think they should be' but without seeing how it can lead to meaningful ROI.

You're talking here about developing it as a skill, Jason. You can get ROI but it won't fall in your lap. Lists are a great tool and very few people use them.

Social media is essentially a marketing channel, just like PR or advertising. Like those things it can be done well and it can be done badly and there are winners and losers.

The difference is that businesses are often more prepared to outsource their marketing and PR. Some say that outsourcing your social media is somehow inauthentic. In an ideal world you would have a skilled person doing it themselves, but if making it authentic means that it's done badly then it's a problem. Early days.
257 weeks ago, by Tim
Thanks for the article Jason. What do you mean by 'targeting people ans building up a list'? There's a boat company in Poole I'd like to do business with at some point. Are you saying to FOLLOW/LIKE them? How do you suggest I get my posts in front of them if they are not following/liking me?
257 weeks ago, by Jackie
Tim: One way to get noticed is to retweet, mention and/or favourite their tweets, for example. Engage with them and build a relationship. Or just pick up the phone and arrange a meeting.
257 weeks ago, by James
I think engaged followers can be noticed but it depends who is running the target's social media account. It needs to be someone relevant if being noticed is a good thing.

Before social media there was a 'rule' which said that you had to 'touch' people 6 times before they took notice of you, which is the first stage of the buying cycle. Now it may be 20 or more times across social and traditional channels.

However, there's no doubt that having an intelligent engaged follower is a valuable asset. By that I mean someone who posts considered, meaningful responses to your content.
257 weeks ago, by Jason
Hi Guys, thank you all for the feedback.

James - you're right about people wanting to be on Social Media, yet they know very little about it. I always start here by saying the way in which people communicate has changed forever. Walk down any high street, into any cafe or bar and people will be clicking away on their phones. This for me means business must enter the world of the consumer, otherwise you're being left behind.

Social Media is obviously a Marketing Channel - but it's so much more. I believe that if Marketers think of Social Media only as a Marketing channel, then we're hijacking the platform belonging to the consumer. People are on Social Media for social reasons and not to be bombarded with ads.

Outsourcing Social Media is dependent on the company. I would rather empower the business so they understand social media, but outsourcing is ok if the person is fully trained and understands the culture of the business.
257 weeks ago, by Jason

Yes I simply meant that you should build a list of potential targets - just like the Boat company in Poole. Contribute to their conversations, read and share their articles and establish a connection through 1:2:1 relationship building.

Jackie was spot on with her advice to you, just build a relationship. Give them something for free - some tips or advice which is tailored to suit them. Twitter is a good platform to get a conversation started. Facebook has excellent features in their search bar where you can identify and target companies from a specific industry & area - you might try a search such as Boat Companies in Poole.
257 weeks ago, by Jackie
"Jackie was spot on." Yay, me!
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